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Immigration and Refugee Advocates, Legal Experts Analyze Potential Trump Immigration Plans and Lay Out Next Steps

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A recording of today’s event is available here. 

As early as tomorrow, President-elect Donald Trump may begin repealing several of President Obama’s executive actions and enacting his own, possibly with major implications for immigrants and immigration policy.

From ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – an unqualified success – to eliminating the deportation memo that prioritizes security threats over undocumented workers and many other actions, Trump could take major steps that set back us back year in immigration policy, with huge consequences for American families, workers, businesses, and society.   

A recording of today’s event is available here. 

Kamal Essaheb, Director of Policy & Advocacy of National Immigration Law Center, said, “Donald Trump made several campaign promises. Many of these promises are constitutionally dubious at best, and a direct threat to civil rights for many. Furthermore, as a former DACA recipient and an immigrant, I know the fear that has already rippled across the DACAmented community and the immigrant community is palpable.”

Tom Jawetz, Vice President of Immigration of Center for American Progress, said, “There is a lot of misunderstanding about what DACA is and what it would mean for President Trump to end the program. DACA is a temporary program – so if it is terminated, each month that goes by, tens of thousands of individuals will lose work authorization and protection from removal. This will have dire consequences across the board not only for their ability to be confident that they will remain with their families, but also for their ability to remain employed, stay in school, obtain a driver’s license, and keep up with mortgage and car payments. The economy will take a hit and businesses in every sector will suffer, as talented workers are forced out of work.”

Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream, said, “Our message to Donald Trump, General John Kelly, Speaker Paul Ryan and other leaders is to leave DACA alone.  Don’t mess with DACA. The program works and has proven to be a lifeline for my brother and three quarters of a million people. And regardless of what the incoming Administration does, we want everyone to know that we are here to stay and ready to defend our people. We showed our strong force united in over 70 events last weekend, and that was just the beginning. We will continue organizing. There is no going back to the shadows. We will continue to fight fearlessly to protect DACA and protect young people form mass deportation and stand with women and with our Muslim, black and LGBT sisters, brothers and friends. We will be ready to take action, and we will fight back at the local, state and national level.”

Jen Smyers, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service, said, “Church World Service strongly condemns any and all actions to discriminate against immigrants and refugees or deprive undocumented young people the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Faith communities are standing in solidarity with immigrants, refugees, and Muslims who may be impacted by these announcements, including more than 400 faith communities that have joined the Sanctuary Movement, committing to provide safety to those targeted by any such announcements. We will continue to fight these policies, alongside millions of Americans who support immigrant and refugee rights, and call on Members of Congress to join us in this critical time.”

Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, said, “Trump’s immigration vision is small-minded, dark, us-vs-them.  His immigration plans wouldn’t move the country forward, they would move us backwards.  And, they’re even less popular than he is.  Most people want to see Congress pass a law to provide that allows immigrants to apply for green card and earn citizenship.”

For more information:

A recording from today’s event
America’s Voice: “Showing Strength Against Trump and GOP Threats, Immigrants and Allies In More than 70 Locations Declare they are Here To Stay”
Immigration Resource Legal Center: “Searching for Sanctuary”
ThinkProgress: “Trump made a lot of promises about what he will do as president. We’ve documented 663 of them.” 
United States Conference of Mayors: Emergency Resolution on Immigration